A year and a half following one of the deadliest natural disasters recorded, I had the opportunity to travel with an educational group to Thailand through the East-West Center. On December 26, 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck beneath the Indian Ocean generating a tsunami that claimed more than 228,000 lives in 14 countries and left more than 2 million homeless. The world responded.
Billions were donated, sending unprecedented amounts following a disaster. Relief agencies hit the ground running, providing much needed supplies for survival. But, what after the survival needs were met? By the next summer, the NGOs were largely nowhere to be seen in the communities we visited. Basic needs were met, but people were left with inadequate housing, often located far from their traditional resources and means of generating income, in temporary structures that didn’t follow their cultural building traditions.
Sweaters and winter clothing remained in large piles, signifying well meaning efforts, but a lack of understanding of needs, particularly long-term needs for the people of these communities. With so much loss, mental health services were needed as families moved beyond survival to restructure their lives.
Our hearts go out to the people of the Bahamas. We’re now considering what will be available 1.5 years later or longer, when basic needs are met and the media has moved on to the next event. With this in mind, fromLAUREL is donating 20% of all profits to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund for the remainder of the year.
This fund will “focus on medium- and long-term recovery needs, which may include rebuilding homes and livelihoods; meeting the needs of vulnerable populations; supporting mental health services; and addressing pressing needs that will arise after immediate relief needs are met.”
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is rated 4-stars by Charity Navigator. Check them out! We like that local stakeholders become part of the CDP’s grant process to identify funding gaps and address unmet recovery needs. It is our hope that by donating to longer-term needs that we can do a small part to assist rebuilding efforts in the Bahamas.
Lots of love,